While the reopening of Saskatchewan’s economy is still weeks away, businesses are already working out their strategy for when doors open.
On April 23, Premier Scott Moe laid out the provincial government’s five-phase plan.
“Phase two would include some retail operations. We’ve seen retail operations that have been open for the last month or two that have greatly changed how they do business with the plexiglass dividers, with the extra sanitation efforts in place. The expectation is any other businesses will most certainly do that,” Moe told Global News.
Phase two is scheduled to take place on May 19 and includes the opportunity for clothing retailers to open to customers.
However, some of the recommendations make it difficult for customers to shop in the traditional sense.
They include not allowing customers to touch products unless they intend to buy them and restricting the use of change rooms.
“I guess my problem is that I don’t foresee that that is going to help our business much at this point because our customers are purchasing and doing the curbside pick up and online delivery. But what they really want to do is to be able to come in the store and try on clothes,” Era Style Loft co-owner Lauren Evans said.
Even with those measures in place, Era Style Loft is expecting to open its doors on May 19.
There isn’t a timeline for phase three in the province’s plan.
It includes opening restaurants and bars to 50 per cent capacity.
Hudsons Canada’s Pub in Saskatoon expects to open when that day comes, even if it’s at a cost.
“Turning a profit or recovering expenses is going to be a challenge and our industry is going to be really impacted. It’s just the way that it goes,” owner Greg Clark said.
Both Hudsons and Era Style Loft agree with the phased-in approach and safety precautions.
But Evans and Clark believe it may take time before customers see their businesses back to normal operation.
Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:
Health officials caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are legally obligated to self-isolate for 14 days, beginning March 26, in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others. Some provinces and territories have also implemented additional recommendations or enforcement measures to ensure those returning to the area self-isolate.
Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.
To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.
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